Artworks in the Collection

Milenko ŠERBAN
My Home (1956)

The motif of his birthplace Čerević cannot be found in Šerban’s early opus, nor can it be found in his brilliant period from the summer of 1932, when, together with I. Tabaković and P. Dobrović, he produced colouristic panegyrics to the slopes, forests, meadows, orchards and vineyards of Fruška Gora, while participating in the Ledinci art colony. Only in his mature years did he begin to paint faithfully, almost systematically the panoramas and atmosphere of his little village in Srem, starting with oil in 1950 and working in pastel in the seventies: the entrance to the churchyard, the yard wall and the red wall, the winding streets, the church, the spire, gardens, fences, gates… A special place in that series of over thirty pieces with motifs from Čerević belongs to paintings of the house where Šerban was born. In the painting in The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, it is represented in an idealized form with a baroque gable, which was long ago replaced by straight modernist lines. In front of the house, there is a skirting, upon which a tall stone cross once stood, which was a common motif in Šerban’s paintings. The three figures passing in front of the house are captured in a split second or a film frame, one of them alone and the other two together, a woman wearing a scarf with a boy. Perhaps they symbolize the artist’s sentimental memories of his childhood in Čerević. The painting was produced in rich and broad brushstrokes and a serene colour gamut, with lighter and darker areas which suggest the artist’s deep emotional and even nostalgic feeling towards the motif. Stylistically, there is continuity with works from the previous decade – it nurtures a poetic dimension of realism with an accentuated expressionistic technique.

Milenko Šerban